This recap of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 6, “You Promised,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.
Read the Black Bird Season 1 review.
The last episode of Black bird is finally upon us, and what a finale it is. Jimmy and Larry’s story comes to a fitting conclusion without leaving anything to chance. Fans will be happy to hear that the crime saga is fully resolved in episode six, “You Promised.” It’s a moving ending that packs a real punch as Jimmy Keene attempts to confirm this all-important confession from suspected killer Larry Hall, as the team hopes to find the location of these buried bodies once and for all.
Black bird season 1, episode 6 recap – finale and ending explained
Jimmy wakes up from a horrible nightmare in his cell, with Larry asking him if his stories are to blame. In last week’s episode, Larry confessed in detail to murdering Jessica Roach, but now he’s changed tack, saying it was all just a story. Jimmy is furious and plays Larry, calling him a liar and a con artist. It works wonderfully, winding it endlessly. Jimmy says Larry’s details are vague and the fact that he never dug a grave for Jessica Roach proves his innocence. The would-be killer falls for this scheme and swears to Jimmy that he is telling the truth, now pleading that he committed these terrible acts. Larry ends their conversation by asking Jimmy to meet him at the lumber store later that day, so he can fully prove his guilt.
The drug dealer worked his magic on Larry, reeling him, hook, line and sinker. But Jimmy eats alone at lunchtime. The other criminals talk about the snitch, giving him pain on the other side of the canteen. Jimmy wastes no time preparing for the fight, training in his cell. He quickly runs out of time and has no way of contacting the outside world, as his phone credit is frozen. Twisted guard Carter asks to help Jimmy solve his many dilemmas, but wants to know who he works for first. Jimmy even receives death threats from the mob boss to add to his woes. He must act now.
What follows is an ingenious but very frustrating sequence of events that elevates this finale into five-star territory. Jimmy meets Larry and instantly spies on a map on the wood shop table. This map should simply contain the whereabouts of Larry’s victims, with a border of carved birds around the edge. Larry explains how he made twenty-one birds, one for each of his victims. The birds are sent home for Gary to paint them black, hence the title of the show, and these memories function as guards watching over the dead. Larry says he had a stomach ache when Jimmy called him a liar, because he cares about the dead. He remembers every victim and takes his hobby very seriously, unlike Jimmy with his eighty adventures.
The confession is right there in front of Jimmy’s eyes, but you just know he won’t be swiping that card and walking to his shrink’s office anytime soon with that evidence. The series primarily enjoys teasing and torturing its audience. Larry talks about Tricia Reitler and also explains the circumstances of her death. He reflects on his actions, saying everyone wants to be seen, a celebrity. Jimmy can’t fight it anymore, he lets his emotions come to the surface and begs Larry to reveal the scene, so the parents can finally grieve their children and stop hurting. Larry laughs it off. Jimmy yells at Larry, calling him a monster, and the killer attacks. The guards are on hand to stop the fight, but that incriminating card remains nowhere to be found.
Jimmy is dragged to internment where his hell has only just begun. In the most frustrating moments, none of the prison guards will believe Jimmy’s story and as he asks for a pencil, the card slowly slips from his memory. Jimmy has no choice but to draw the map on his prison wall in his own blood and spends what seems like an eternity waiting for freedom. Larry’s card is sent to Gary and the evidence is obviously burned. Lauren and Brian visit the brother and he admits the brothers once raped a hitchhiker, but he won’t accept Larry’s murderous disposition.
In a thorny moment, Jimmy is released from solitary and draws the map on a table for Lauren to see. It also recounts some of Larry’s confessions, providing details about the two belts used to strangle Jessica Roach and how he folded Tricia’s clothes. Lauren says this proof will be enough, they have it now. Jimmy is then released, free of all his sentence. Jimmy crumbles as the judge delivers that verdict and Taron Egerton shines as a broken drug dealer.
Jimmy is then reunited with his father and Ray Liotta delivers a career highlight, crying at his son’s return. Give this man all the prizes! We are informed that Jimmy’s father died five years after his release and that Larry attempted suicide after his appeal was denied. Gary meets his brother in prison and finally accepts the reality that Larry is a murderer, which upsets Larry more than anything. Additional text explains how Gary was able to convince Larry to confess to 15 of the murders, although the burial grounds remain uncovered. Jimmy started a successful business after the debacle, and Larry remained in prison for life. We are then shown stills of the two actual inmates at the end of the series. It’s a tumultuous finale that provokes real emotions and concludes this police drama perfectly.
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